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Legal basis

Acts and ordinances
Swiss parks have the following legal bases:
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The Swiss legislation largely reflects the French model which considers the Charter to be a core strategic park management tool, which sets ten-year targets for the park

The National Parks Act

A special law governs the Swiss National Park in the Engadine, which was created in 1914: «The Federal Act of 19 December, 1980 on the Swiss National Park in the Canton of Graubünden.»

Nature and Cultural Heritage Protection Act (NHG)

The Federal Parliament approved the legal basis for creating new parks in Switzerland in 2007. As a result, the revised Nature and Cultural Heritage Protection Act (NHG) came into force on December 1, 2007. «Nine new articles» (articles 23e to 23m) provide the parks' legal framework for «Parks of national importance».

The NHG defines parks as areas with high natural and landscape values. The law provides for three park categories: national park, regional nature park and nature discovery park. It also states that cantons shall support regional efforts to establish and operate parks and ensure that the residents of the affected municipalities can play their part in a suitable manner. The federal government awards a park label to the park authority and a product label can also be placed on the park products and services. The federal government shall provide the cantons with global financial assistance for the establishment, operation and quality assurance of parks of national importance.

The Ordinance on Parks of National Importance

The «Ordinance of November 7, 2007 on Parks of National Importance» (in short: Park Ordinance) details the NHG general provisions.

The guidelines, recommendations   and Handbuch  of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) provide further details and information. They help with the planning, creating and operating of parks of national importance so as to guarantee long-term quality.